Season: 2012

A Pocket-Sized Enchanted Carriage

Posted on Oct 4th, 2012 in FAIR: Fellowships & More

February 10, 2012| Author: Tatiana Kuilanoff

When it comes to model making, rules and guidelines are virtually nonexistent. Yes, books are sold giving tips and advice on how to construct a “realistic” looking brick wall or a standard dining chair in a variety of scales and sizes…but sometimes these instruction manuals don’t provide all the answers. From time to time, you get that one project that is so complex and difficult in function or shape that you don’t know where to begin.

In short, you’re stumped.

You sit there at an impasse, looking down at a scrap pile of paper, glue, tape, a variety of wooden sticks, blades, modeling paste, etc. and you wonder why your dumb manual didn’t mention how to build this particular thing. You think, “How do I do this? Where do I even start?”

It can be frustrating at first and make you momentarily insane, but honestly, it’s one of the more exciting feats one can take on when building model pieces. Why you ask? Simple- because it allows you to be creative and use your imagination.

I encountered such a scenario myself not too long ago. The challenge: building a ½” scale model of Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage. Sounds simple enough, that is until you look at it more closely and try to figure out how to build it. Who knew a pumpkin had so many grooves and curves! Initially, I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to build it. All I had were the basics: paper, glue, modeling paste, sandpaper, blades and who knows what else. Consequently, this project was going to be one big experiment.

I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I started off by cutting bits of paper and gluing them together to form a globelike structure. However, at first it looked nothing like a pumpkin (more like a sad little scrap ball put together). So then I whipped out the modeling paste and smothered my paper globe. This part took a bit of waiting time because everything had to dry before you could add more layers. Nevertheless, it showed promise as grooves of a pumpkin began to form.

After what I deemed enough paste (didn’t want to get too putty happy), I sanded down the structure to give it a smooth finish.

Putting aside the main body of the structure, I began working on the wheels of the carriage. Wheel spokes, the thickness of floss, were sliced from wooden dowels while the wheels themselves were cut from a variety of cardstock. Once the wheels were done and the pumpkin body completely dry, I began to gold leaf the pumpkin carriage. (This was the most enjoyable part because I had never gold leafed before. It was quite exciting!)

Taking all the parts and pieces, I finally glued the structure together and miraculously, Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage was born.

…This project ran the course of a few days, but I was most relieved when I finished it.

Looking back, this project initially proved itself quite challenging. No instruction manual. But because of a bit of creativity and imagination, I managed to successfully build Cinderella’s Carriage. So let that be a lesson to ya…if there’s a will (plus a bit of imagination), there’s a way.

Tags:
FAIR, Set Design

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  • I did the exact same thing as you but got ideas from photos. I built a brougham carriage mostly of card stock and some wood. I made the wheels from plastic coffee can covers. Aprox 1:12 th scale.
    FantasticJan 11th, 2013 8:31 am

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